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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - Embassy of Finland, London : Frequently asked questions


38 Chesham Place
London SW1X 8HW
Tel. +44-20-7838 6200
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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Traveling to Finland

I want to get married in Finland. What paperwork do I need?
Firstly, decide where you wish to get married. Then contact reverend of that church or, if getting married in a civil ceremony the local register office (maistraatti). The authorities will advise you what you need in order to marry, normally at least a certificate of non-impediment from the country of residence must be provided. All the required documents have to be legalised ('Apostille Certificate'). In the United Kingdom legalisation is done at the Legalisation Office.

I am travelling to Finland/United Kingdom with my minor children without the other parent/My minor children are travelling unaccompanied. Do they need a parental consent for the trip?

When minor children travel abroad without a parent or legal guardian, it is advisable that they are given a written parental consent for the travel. The document can be a written travel consent from the parents included in the child's travel documents to be presented, as required, to the authorities in the country of destination.

For more information: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Children travelling to the UK

I want to take my cat/dog to Finland - what do I need to do?
Detailed information is available from the Finnish Food Safety Authority.

ls my foreign driving licence valid in Finland?
Please check the information from the website of Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom: Validity of foreign driving licences in Finland

Do I need vaccinations?
Vaccinations are not required.

How can I book a trip to Finland?
There are direct flights from the United Kingdom to Finland with Finnair, British Airways and Norwegian. Tour operators also operate charter flights especially during the winter season to Lapland. Please contact your prefered airline or travel agent directly.

What about a travel insurance?
It is recommended that you buy travel Insurance that covers every eventuality. EU nationals are allowed to use basic Finnish health care, you will need to show your ID or carry a form E111 with you (available from UK post offices). There is a small fee for each visit to a hospital or doctor.

What's the emergency number in Finland?

Can I use British electric appliances in Finland?
Yes you can, but you will need an adaptor. Finnish sockets are all two-pin sockets (bigger than the American). The electric current is 220 V (230 V), 50 HZ.

What's the weather like?
In winter it can get very cold, especially the further north you go. It is advisable to wear lots of layers rather than just one thick jumper. Warm footwear is quite essential. Summer is generally warm.

Where can I see the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis are a light phenomenon that can be seen in the sky in the Arctic regions on clear, dark nights. In Finland, most Northern Lights are observed in Kilpisjärvi region in Lapland. There, Northern Lights can be seen three out of four nights on average. In the southern part of Finland, statistically the auroras are seen only once a month.

I wish to go hunting and take my own firearm with me. Do I need a special licence?
Any foreigner entering Finland must leave his/her gun and ammunition at the Customs House until an import permit has been obtained from the local police, usually the airport or harbour police. The number, calibre and manufacturer of the weapon and the number of the applicant's licence in his/her native country must accompany the application for a permit. A Finnish hunting licence will only be issued to a person who can prove that he/she has a corresponding licence in his/her own country. When applying for a Finnish hunting licence for the first time, a foreign visitor without a licence of his/her own has to pass a hunter's test. A person with a hunting licence has to have a valid insurance policy that covers any injury by a gun to a second person or to the hunter while actually hunting. More information can be obtained from the Finnish Hunters' Central Organisation Tel +358 9 877 7677 or the Ministry of Interior, Police Department Tel +358 9 160 4672.

What are the smoking regulations?
Smoking is not allowed indoors in public buildings, restaurants and bars and other places open to the public. In Finland you have to be 18 years old to buy cigarettes or other smoking products.

Is Finland part of Scandinavia or is it a Nordic country?
Finland is part of the Nordic countries together with Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark. Scandinavia comprises Sweden and Norway only.


How can I apply for a Schengen visa to Finland?
Visa application must be submitted via Finland Visa Application Centres in London, Manchester or Edinburgh (VFS Global). General information regarding visa to Finland can also be found on our Schengen visa page.

I hold a British passport, do I need a visa to go to Finland?
No visa is required for European Union passport holders. The passport has to be valid on the day of return, i.e. no minimum validity is required. More information here: Entering Finland and Brexit and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

I hold a valid UK residence permit, do I still need visa to Finland?
You might still require a visa to Finland and Schengen area. For more information visit our Schengen visa page.

Do I have to make an appointment to apply for a visa?
Yes. You will need to make an advance appointment with The Finland Visa Application Centre. Please note that the Embassy takes in a very limited number of visa applicants. Appointment for the Embassy must also be booked via the Visa Application Centres.

Where are the Finland Visa Application Centres?

The application centres are located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. Contact details and addresses.

66 Wilson Street,  EC2A 2BT London 
50 Devonshire Street North,  M12 6JH Manchester
1 Rennie’s Isle, Leith   EH6 6QT Edinburgh

Can I send the visa application by post?
No. Each applicant has to apply in person at the Finland Visa Application Centre.

Do I have to take photocopies of my original documents and passport?
Yes, please provide copies of all the supporting documents and passport. Paper documents are not returned to the applicant.

Do I need to have a valid residence permit in the UK when applying for a visa?
Yes. Your UK residence permit has to be valid at least three months after your planned return date from the Schengen area.

How long is the processing time for Schengen visas?
The prosessing time for Schengen visas is normally 10 working days.

How much is the visa fee?
Full list of visa fees is available here.

Schengen visa is issued free of charge to a spouse and dependants of EU/EEA or Swiss citizens when travelling together or to join the family member.

There is no fee for Diplomatic or Service passport holders providing they are travelling on official duty. A verbal note from the Embassy should be presented.


How can I renew my Finnish passport?
Abroad a passport must always be applied in person (incl. children) in the Finnish Mission. Full passport information.

Can I renew my passport by post?
No. Passport must always be applied in person. Applicant will complete and sign the form and the officer will take fingerprints. Also children must be present when applying.

Where can I get the passport application form?
The form is printed at the Embassy when the applicant is present. The form cannot be completed beforehand.

Should I collect my new passport in person?
It is also possible to send your passport back to you using Royal Mail Special Delivery or someone else can collect it on behalf of you with an authorisation letter and photo ID.

Can I take a passport photo at the Embassy?
No. The Embassy does not have a photo service. Please take a photo in advance.

When can I apply for a passport? Do I need an appointment?
Consular Section's opening hours and appointment booking:

Appointment for passport and notarial services

Registrations and other matters

I am a Finnish citizen living in the United Kingdom and I need a certificate to the Finnish authories (estate inventory etc.) to prove that I am alive. Where can I obtain this certificate?
You can get the certificate (elossaolotodistus/Affidavit certificate) either from the Finnish Embassy, Finnish Honorary Consul or any local Notary Public. A personal visit with proof of identity (passport) and address (i.e. utility bill) is required. Fees apply.

I am a Finnish citizen and I got married in the United Kingdom. Do I need to inform the Embassy?
Yes, a Finnish citizen must register the marriage (and possible name change) to the Finnish Population Register Centre. Information is available on Registrations in the Population Register Centre.

I have given birth to a child in the United Kingdom. Do I need to inform the Embassy and what to do next?
Firstly, you should register the birth to the Finnish Population Register Centre. Information is available on Registrations in the Population Register Centre.

If you wish to apply for a Finnish passport you should wait that the registration of birth is complete and the child has a Finnish identity code. After this you can come and apply for a passport in person together with the child. Read our full passport information.

I have moved address in the United Kingdom. What do I need to do?
All Finnish citizens living abroad have the duty to inform and update the Register Centres in Finland of all amendments and changes regarding their personal details. This includes the change of address. The easiest way is to complete a form online via this link: Address change


I want to become a Finnish citizen, what should I do?
You can either register or apply for a Finnish citizenship depending on the grounds of the citizenship. General information is available on our website Citizenship and from The Finnish Immigration Service.

I want to become a British citizen, what should I do?
You can either register or apply for a British citizenship via the Home Office depending on your personal situation. Information is available on UK Government websites here. The Embassy of Finland cannot help you with the citizenship process. Finland does accept dual and multi citizenship, please note, however, that you should register your other citizenships to the Finnish Population Register Centre.

I have some Finnish family ties, how can I find out if I am a Finnish citizen and eligible to apply for a passport?

All Finnish citizen are registered in the Population Register in Finland. Before applying for a passport you must establish that you are a Finnish citizen and as a dual (or multi) national have also retained your Finnish citizenship. The best way to officially establish your Finnish citizenship status is to complete a form KAN_9 (Request to determine citizenship status) with the Finnish Immigration Service.

Establishing your citizenship

Retaining your Finnish citizenship at the age of 22

Former citizen of Finland

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Updated 12/02/2019

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